Thursday, March 11, 2010
NFC South mailbag
By Pat Yasinskas
Grant in Washington, DC writes: You recently discussed the possibility of Derek Anderson landing in Carolina. But with the reports that the Browns are shopping Brady Quinn, do you think there's any chance Carolina would be interested in him? Personally, I think Quinn has been given a very raw deal in Cleveland and could be a good NFL quarterback. The change of scenery would do him good, and I like the idea of Matt Moore and Quinn competing for the starting spot.
Pat Yasinskas: I generally avoid speculating about players under contract to one team ending up with another team. However, I think this one is fair to at least discuss a bit because it’s been widely reported the Browns are looking to trade Quinn. I think it’s something the Panthers at least have to consider. Quinn came out of college viewed as a franchise quarterback. Things didn’t work out in Cleveland. It wasn’t all his fault and he did some good things from time to time. I think he could be a legitimate competitor to Moore for the starting job. Now, on the flip side, I also have two reasons why this might not happen. First, the Panthers have plenty of other holes and they already are without a first-round draft pick. Getting Quinn will cost at least some sort of draft pick and I think the Panthers will be hesitant to part with their remaining picks. Also, and I don’t want to be unfair to Quinn, but the whole David Carr episode might still be in the minds of John Fox and Marty Hurney. Like Carr, Quinn was a very high draft pick that didn’t work out in his first stop. I'm not saying Quinn will be a bust in his second stop like Carr. But I know Fox and Hurney still carry emotional baggage from the Carr fiasco.
Will in New Orleans writes: Usama Young looked great in his limited playing time as a free safety last year, and he's been torched just about every time he's lined up at corner since he's been drafted, wouldn't it make sense to make him the heir to Darren Sharper instead of moving Malcolm Jenkins?
Pat Yasinskas: If the Saints end up losing Sharper, I think Young is definitely an option. But I also think there’s a desire to get Jenkins on the field more often in his second season. Could end up being a training camp competition between these two for the starting job.
Jordan in Alto, GA writes: I've heard all the talk about Matt Ryan possibly not being as good as everyone thought he might be after his second season slump. I agree he had a little fall off but it also seemed the coaching staff went very conservative on play calling. What are the chances they open the playbook back up and let Ryan air the ball out a little more given all of the talent around Ryan for him to throw to? Also can we expect more no huddle series this fall?
Pat Yasinskas: I like, and share, your take on Ryan. I still think this guy is going to be a very good quarterback and I don’t think he was bad last season by any means. I just don’t think the coaching staff did a good job of playing to his strengths. Mike Smith and Mike Mularkey are both very bright guys and they’ve had time to process what didn’t work last season. I suspect they’ll make some adjustments to play to Ryan’s strengths. As for the no-huddle offense, we won’t really know until the season. But I thought they had great success with it in Ryan’s rookie season and need to get back to using it more often.
Will in New Port Richey, Fla. writes: Why haven't the Bucs even made a hint of interest in Brandon Marshall? The guy makes big play after big play. He can stretch the field and is a major game changer. Sure he has a small attitude problem but so did Keyshawn Johnson.
Pat Yasinskas: As far as we know, the Bucs haven’t shown interest in Marshall. But, even in age when the media covers free agency so closely, not everything going on behind the scenes comes to light. Careful, I’m not saying the Bucs are making a play for Marshall, but let’s not make the assumption that they’re just sitting still on him or another No. 1 receiver. Now, a couple of issues with the Marshall scenario: First, he would have to come in a trade and that would mean the Bucs would have to part with some of this year’s draft picks. They’re proud of the fact they’ve accumulated 10 of them and they don’t want to subtract from that number. Also, I think the baggage that comes with Marshall is a big caution flag. The Keyshawn Johnson situation was a little different because he came in to a veteran team with established leaders and things worked out in the short term. The current Bucs are not an established team and don’t have any real leaders. Bringing Marshall’s personality into that locker room could be a big mistake.
Yansen in Iowa writes: I’m assuming the Bucs are going to go with defense with the first round and they should. But what about the second round? There are a lot of good receivers this year. Can I expect a wideout in the second with either of the two picks?
Pat Yasinskas: Safe assumption on defense in the first round and I think the possibility of a receiver in the second round is very strong. A lot of experts have Jordan Shipley in the second round and Josh Freeman already has said he likes the Texas wide receiver. Also, I heard Sirius NFL Radio’s Pat Kirwan yesterday speculating that Oklahoma receiver Dez Bryant could tumble into the second round because of baggage and the fact that he hasn’t been able to run for scouts because of an injury. I’m not sure that will really happen. But, if Bryant is somehow available in the second round, I think the Bucs might be willing to ignore the baggage.
Brian in Augusta, GA writes: Pat, in a recent post you said, "Brent Grimes will compete with Brian Williams for the No. 2 cornerback spot. If he doesn’t win that, he’s probably the favorite over Christopher Owens and Chevis Jackson to be the nickel back. " Is that your opinion, or are you getting that info from the Falcons?
Pat Yasinskas: My opinion. The Falcons, and all other NFL teams, don’t tell you their starting lineup in March because they don’t know their starting lineup. I’m just saying Williams is the most experienced of the bunch the Falcons will have competing for the spot opposite Dunta Robinson. That makes him the safe choice right now. But they’re going to throw all those guys out there and see who rises up. Grimes, Owens and Jackson all have upside and the Falcons would be delighted if one of them moves ahead of Williams.